Originally Posted by gpalmer
Yes, for instance I have had the Gilmore V2-SE with both Panasonic and Black Gate Capacitors in it. I have also compared my Gilmore Balanced Reference (with Black Gates) against another user's Gilmore Balanced Reference without Black Gates. Any other questions?
And were you blind to this difference otherwise? That is, did you know which one you were listening to? If you were not blind to the difference, then the difference is at least potentially a placebo effect.
Saying "I've listened and I've heard the differences" is the common, popular argument (not just from you, gpalmer, I don't mean to pick on you specifically). It is unfortunately not
proof of a real difference, unless the listener is blind to what the change is.
Placebo effects are enormously
powerful. People experience real, physical changes from placebo drugs--improvements from disease, side effects, the whole deal. In fact, people who are susceptible to placebo effects with pain killers actually change the composition of neurotransmitters in their brains (effectively releasing endorphins), which really does stem the pain. It isn't just some "all in your head" nonsense experienced only by the weak-minded. These kinds of things are why placebo controlled-studies are mandatory
before the FDA will approve a drug.
Does anyone really think that if your brain can measurably change biochemistry due to expectation effects that your perceptions of sound reproduction are immune from them? Seriously?
Yes, it's possible in many cases that there is a real difference and there really is break-in of some kind--I don't dispute that. And, in many cases, there are perfectly well-understood reasons for such effects. But in the absence of such an explanation, saying "just because we don't know the reason doesn't mean it doesn't exist" is a weak, weak argument (even if it sometimes turns out later to be true). We do
know placebo effects exist and they're powerful.
For some of us to believe it's not a placebo effect, we'd like a reasonable explanation of what the underlying cause of the break-in effect is, and it has to be something better than "I've heard it so it must be real." I have yet to see one here.
Originally Posted by kontai69
Of all the countless "burn-in definately improved the sound of X" experiences I've read on this forum and elsewhere, I don't think I have ever come across such a comparison. If there was such a test performed, could someone provide me a link?
Good luck. You'd be amazed at how resistant the audio world is to basic scientific methodology. It's not hard to find grand treatises on why blind testing is flawed and wrong, none of which would pass muster in even vaguely rigorous scientific journals. Noticed the "DBT-free" tag on the cables forum? Essentially, this means that "we believe this without scientific evidence and our minds are made up about it--so don't confuse us with facts." OK, that's probably too harsh--people probably just don't want the threads constantly torpedoed by the same questions over and over because that gets pretty old. But it says a lot that the stance taken is banishment rather than honest discourse.